Facebook is the fast-food restaurant of social interaction.
Quick, cheap & convenient. Have a busy day and only have a minute to catch up with someone? Write on their wall. Don't have money to go to lunch or out for drinks, send a private PM with a hello. Need to RSVP to their party, wedding (gasp, please don't ever do this.) or other social event, hey why not, Facebook is right here, the mailbox is waaaaay over there. Click. Send. Etiquette out the door.
Now. I'm not dissing social media as a whole. I LOVE being able to catch up with family that lives in an entirely different time zone than me. Reconnect with family I haven't seen since I was in Pre-K, or get to see updated photos of all my loved ones. It's great for business marketing and meeting new people.
But what happened to connecting with our tribe, our community, the men and women in our lives who we should nurture and be nurtured by?
What happened to girls night and game nights and coffee chats that ran deep. What happened to doing everything together, or the bliss of doing nothing at all as long as it was with your girls.
Calling just to say hi. Writing a letter to let them get something fun in the mail other than bills (I totally still do this, and am a firm believer I'm one of the last ones out there who adore stationary and the hand-written word.)
Now, I know technology isn't 100% to blame. As we age we get married, we have kids, we pour into our careers. Some of us go back to school or we get ill.
But it seems to me, we find time to do so many other things, what's a coffee to catch up and let your best girls in your life know that you love them? That you still care to be connected?
I am also saying I'm not to blame. We ALL get busy, we ALL let life take over. And we all use social media as a way to feel connected. But if that's true, if we are so "connected" - then why is it that I have over 2,000 "friends" between social media accounts and there are days I feel like there's no one I could call.
So I pose a challenge. To you, to me. To my friends and to yours. For the next four weeks I will be doing a Social Challenge. Not a Social Media Challenge. A Social Challenge. Go at your own pace, start when you like, but try to get to all four of these tasks. I promise more fulfilled relationships and more connectivity to what really matters. Will you join me?
Nurture Your Relationships: Social Challenge
Week One: Plan one outting this week with a friend. Whether its meeting for coffee on a work lunch break, seeing a late movie or even running and errand together - make time for at least one hour this week.
Week Two: Aim for two friend outings this week - or one outing and one phone call with two separate friends.
Week Three: Write a letter to a friend, at least one full page long and mail it in a cute envelope to cheer her up.
Week Four: Plan an event - dinner party, a night out for a drink, group pedi's, a poker night, anything - and send out an invite (social media ok for this) to get everyone together. The point is to not just think or plan but to put it into action so you can start making more memories.
Sounds simple - but I know with our group, weeks can go by before we realize we've got so caught up in our "busy".
Let me see how the challenge is going for you! I will be doing the same! Snap photos of you and your besties together, snap photos of your event planning or of your cute stationary/envelopes and put them on Instagram using the hashtag #NNSocialChallenge.
Let's bring back REAL connection. One moment at a time.
1 // What is your all-time favorite food?
Hot wings. And I enjoy a really good meatloaf or pot roast.
2 // Who is the cook between you and your significant other?
I would say we split the responsibility of cooking. We both really enjoy cooking great meals for one another. She has taught me a lot about clean eating and how to alter recipes with good ingredients to make them more healthy.
3 // What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
My dad used to make me mayonnaise and banana sandwhiches. My sister and my mom were disgusted at the fact I ate them.
4 // Are there any foods that you absolutely detest?
Coconut. I am a texture person. I don’t like sauerkraut for the same reason. I don’t like grittiness.
5 // What is your favorite local, little-known, or hole in the wall place to eat?
My wife and I love the Veggie Grill in Long Beach, CA. It has a wide array of foods she can eat and it has a good atmosphere.
1 // What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
My wife and I just took an eight day vacation down the California Coastline. We got a little inventive with each day and decided to plan something different. We saw eight cities, where part of the time we camped, part of the trip we stayed in a beach house – we also hit Disneyland and various coastal Farmer’s Markets to cook up some great meals seaside. All in all, I enjoyed that vacation the most because it gave us a wide array of experiences all in one week.
2 // If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Probably England or Paris, France. Some place in Europe, I think it would be an amazing experience because of the cultural differences.
3 // Are there any summer traditions that you have or would like to start? (think things like big picnics, summer activities, bonfires, or day trips!)
Being from Arizona, I’d like to start spending every summer in San Diego. [laughs] I’d like to finish landscaping our backyard so that we have a place to gather and have BBQ’s.
4 // The 4th of July is coming up! What is a must-have picnic or BBQ food for you?
I like a really sweet watermelon!
5 // Think about your ideal vacation… are you in a cozy cabin, camping in a tent, or hanging in a hotel?
Camping in a tent! To the partial dismay of Mandi, my wife. She is more of a hotel-spa-day kind of girl.
Coming soon - the July edition, where Mr. Charming talks all about his love of being a foodie!